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Posted at 5:00 AM ET, 05/11/2008

Forecast: More Heavy Rain

By Brian Jackson

*Flood Warnings in effect across the metro area*
*Flood Watch in effect Sunday evening through Monday afternoon*

By Brian Jackson, Guest Forecaster

Following Thursday night's heavy rainfall across the area, stand by for a repeat performance. While today will start out somewhat pleasant, it won't stay that way. An intensifying low-pressure system -- the same one which brought killer tornadoes to parts of the Midwest -- will approach the region this afternoon bringing clouds, heavy rainfall (but, fortunately, no severe thunderstorms), and chilly temperatures to the D.C. area. Total rainfall may exceed 2 inches by Monday afternoon.


Radar: Latest mid-Atlantic radar loop from the National Weather Service. Click here to expand. Refresh page to update.

Increasing clouds, afternoon rain. 60-65. Early morning sunshine will give way to increasing clouds by noon. A developing steady rain will follow, overspreading the entire region during the afternoon. The rain may be heavy at times late in the afternoon through evening. A half an inch or so could fall by nightfall. Temperatures will reach the low to mid 60s. Winds from the east and southeast at 10-15 mph may gust as high as 25-30 mph.

A steady, soaking rain will drench the metro area overnight. Most regions will see about an inch of rain overnight but some localities may see up to 2 inches or more. A stiff easterly wind will blow from 15-20 mph. Lows will drop to around 50 degrees.

Confidence: Medium-High

Keep reading for the forecast into early next week and see NatCast for conditions for this afternoon's game...


Rain comes to an end late. Cool upper 50s. Factor in some extra time for your commute on Monday as rain will continue to fall and there may be some flooded areas as well as some water on roadways. A gusty north wind at 15-20 mph, blowing the rain in sheets, adds to the misery. The heaviest and steadiest rain should end by the afternoon but a damp light rain or drizzle may persist into the evening. Highs will only reach the upper 50s.

Overnight still has the chance for a lingering shower. Otherwise it will be cloudy and cool with a brisk north wind. Lows in the mid to upper 40s.


Our situation looks much brighter by Tuesday as we start to dry out and warm up. Mostly sunny skies will allow temperatures to approach 70. Confidence: Medium-High

On Wednesday, we'll continue to warm-up with mostly sunny skies and pleasant temperatures in the mid 70s. Confidence: Medium-High

Brian Jackson earned his Master's degree in meteorology from Florida State University in August of 2007. He now works at the National Ice Center in Suitland, MD as a snow and sea ice analyst.

By Brian Jackson  | May 11, 2008; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Forecasts  
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Next: Update: Rain Pounding Region


Another underperforming system is moving this way. The potential for a widespread heavy rain producer is diminishing.

Radar Returns, Model Trends and HPC Guidance all support this conclusion.

The heavy convection over the southeast is robbing potential from the south. Coastal development will likely be a little too far north for most to receive heavy rain.

The D.C. region is the core of the demarcation zone, with wide QP variations likely. Light to moderate south and southwest, moderate to heavy north and northeast.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | May 11, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Augusta Jim, that is good news to me. My basement sump pump is already working overtime from the 4 inches we received Thursday night into Friday.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Tornado watch out for parts of WV, VA, and NC.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | May 11, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I hope you're right, Augusta Jim, and I also hope ALL the predictions will "underperform." Between the predicted heavy rain and the predicted strong wind gusts and the predicted tornado activity for areas close to us, this is all starting to look pretty scary for the next 36 or so hours. I'm putting pet carriers in the car in advance, in case we gotta run for it.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | May 11, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Tinkerbelle, we were just north of the area hit by the tornado on Thursday night in Stafford. I hope we don't have a repeat performance tonight, so I too hope this system underperforms.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I had never heard the word 'durecho' until reading the reports on the tornadoes hitting Georgia right now. If you wikipedia that and 'bow echo' it makes some great reading for weather rookies. Nasty stuff.

Posted by: Etta | May 11, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I had never heard the word 'durecho' until reading the reports on the tornadoes hitting Georgia right now. If you wikipedia that and 'bow echo' it makes some great reading for weather rookies. Nasty stuff.

Posted by: Etta | May 11, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Augusta Jim -- I disagree ... still see the potential for easily 1-2 inches across the area.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | May 11, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

po·ten·tial existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality (webster's dictionary)

Posted by: Emilio | May 11, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Dan, is that the case for the Stafford/Fredericksburg area as well?

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Dan, is that the case for the Stafford/Fredericksburg area as well?

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post. There were some issues either with my LAN or the website.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Tornado watch for Richmond south now. Hopefully it'll stay down there. Thursday night was enough for the year, thank you very much.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | May 11, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Funky things do happen when posting to this site. E.g., more than once my post has shown a word duplicated in a sentence when I know I didn't type it 2x, and the preview didn't show it 2x.

Still hoping Augusta Jim is right... It's starting to really blow here in Harpers Ferry. Good thing Mom is safely in Massachusetts for Mom's Day.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | May 11, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Weatherdude, looks like they're adding counties to that watch area. I saw Jackson County W.Va. and for an instant misread it as Jefferson. Lost about 5 years off my life right there. And hey, I thought you *liked* exciting weather!?

Posted by: tinkerbelle | May 11, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

It must be refreshing to work at the "National Ice Center" during the summer.

Posted by: mcleaNed | May 11, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I see the NWS revised the rainfall amounts downward for points south of DC. However, there is a nasty looking line of storms heading this way. I thought no severe weather was expected. Any thoughts, Capital Weather Gang?

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

We may not 3" of rain out if this system, but 1-2" certainly looks possible. Band of moderate 2 heavy rain should be hitting the area soon.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | May 11, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

tinkerbelle: The same thing has happened to me before. Like I'll type the sentence "Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions" (taking it from the "post a comment" rules, heh), and the sentence would say "Please Please review the full rules governingoverning commentatataries and Dicussionnsns" and it'll make me look completely illiterate. LOL

And yes, I do like exciting weather, just not when there is a hook echo that's produced "heavy damage" in Stafford on a B-Line straight for Lake Ridge. I would just like a nice, NON tornadic violent thunderstorm now. Stress NON TORNADIC.

But yeah, I still like exciting thunderstorms, but not *that* much excitement.

And might I say that this ( is one of the most awesome looking radars ever? Looks like an inland hurricane.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | May 11, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Rain here in Logan Circle has definitely picked up in intensity.

Posted by: Camden, Capital Weather Gang | May 11, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

(Da na na na da na NA na)

Posted by: mcleaNed | May 11, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Like everyone else, I hope the worst of it misses us here. Boat's in the water now, way less safe than on land - I double-checked the lines and she seems sound, but...that marina's been destroyed in wind before.

Posted by: ~sg | May 11, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Despite the forecast of us staying in the cooler, more stable area, I'm not so sure we're going to avoid thunderstorms. We may avoid the turbulent warm sector, which DOES seem to be going south of us, but there are some spots of convection.....some pretty heavy....popping up in this rain area coming in, and what appears to be a squall line further to the SW, moving this way.

Forecasters had the same problem a few nights ago. The models kept the severe weather well south of us, but it moved north and actually struck in Central and Northern VA. into the SE suburbs.

Posted by: Mike | May 11, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse


Just Kidding!

It did snow in my backyard today - snowed white pedals before the rain blew in. It did look like snow in May for a second.

Posted by: Greg | May 11, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Well, we have heavy rain and thunder in Stafford now. Thunderstruck indeed!

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Light to moderate rain in Silver Spring for the past 1.5 hours.

I am relieved not to live through a repeat of last Thursday night.

Posted by: Murre | May 11, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Any chance the Radiohead concert gets cancelled tonight at the Nissan pavillion?!?

Posted by: BerkeleyGuy | May 11, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Pitch black outside in Lake Ridge @ 538. It's also pouring cats, dogs, ferrets, and other household pets too.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | May 11, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Is this line coming through now going to be the worst of it from this system?

Posted by: steve takoma park md | May 11, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Just went over 1" of rain here in NW Spotsy. After this clears out, it looks like a lull for 2-3 hrs & then another batch of rain will move into the area. I don't think the next round will quite as heavy.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | May 11, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Look at what the barometric pressure has done at DCA today:
29.81 11 am
29.78 12 pm
29.74 01 pm
29.70 02 pm
29.63 03 pm
29.58 04 pm
29.54 05 pm
29.51 06 pm (under 1000 mb)

Posted by: Brian | May 11, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Yep, mine is 990 mb right now. The "inland hurricane of 2008" is on the move towards us. Anyone who uses that term from here on out must pay me royalties. ;)

Posted by: weatherdudeVA (Lake Ridge) | May 11, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Over 1.2" so far in Stafford. Once again, we are getting the worst of it.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Make that 1.6" now.....

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Just came back from dinner in Old Town where we had a great view of the waves, white caps and sheets of rain on the Potomac. Lots of water on the GW Parkway - be careful of hydroplaning.

Posted by: D.K. in Alexandria | May 11, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

I dont see the underperforming, but a large L with a comma shaped rain shield...I think Augusta Jim is getting dry slotted - but those of us just east of the mountains are pretty wet. I have 2.05 inches in the LoCo bootheel which seems to be a sweet spot since we are in the foothills just east of the Bull Run Mountains...I dont see any reason why we wont crack 3 inches. I remember when 2.05 inches of rain was what we got for pretty much all of August and September. Now we get it in four hours...twice a week. Oh, and Flood Warning just issued for here...standing water on Rt. 50 near Aldie, within a few miles of here...blech...

Posted by: Dulles ARC | May 11, 2008 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Here in LoCo, rain pooling in the street and a pond in my driveway. Oh, and I'm at the top of a hill. When do you guys think this batch of heavy rain will let up? The edge of the rain is near Winchester, and not moving east very quickly.

Posted by: Model Monkey | May 11, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

I can't remember the last time that I saw so much heavy rain coming this way. 3 inches now seems like a reasonable prediction for the McLean area.

Posted by: mcleaNed | May 11, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

I just looked outside here in Silver Spring and noticed that we have some wind. I couldn't tell with all the rain falling.

Posted by: Murre | May 11, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

We have received 2.5" with more coming. We will easily exceed 3" soon.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | May 11, 2008 9:21 PM | Report abuse

The wind is absolutely terrifying out here (Harpers Ferry). It is literally HOWLING. And my house always takes the wind like a sail, so I am a wreck. "The Wreck of the Tinkerbelle." My next home, she vowed, will be a little Hobbit house, at least half subterranean.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | May 11, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

1.85 in NW Montgomery. From a look at three different radars it looks like this thing is pinwheeling and filling back in to the south and west. Easily four inches by morning.

Posted by: JT | May 11, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Well i think the drought has kind of lost it's punch over the last 2 months. at least here because we've been in the center of all the rain recently. In April we got 7 inches of rain and we got 5 inches of rain just last thursday-saturday. And so far today we have 2 inches. So that means if my math is correct that in the last month and 10 days we've gotten 14 inches of rain. Average for the last month and a bit is something like 5 or 6 inches so we are really killing the drought right now...
P.S. I live in MoCo County.

Posted by: snow fan | May 11, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Here in G'Burg the rain rate is around 1/4" an hour, more or less. The rader shows that it is not going anywhere soon.

All local river gauges are showing near vertical graphs. Here is one example:

Posted by: MD Scot | May 11, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"Any chance the Radiohead concert gets cancelled tonight at the Nissan pavillion" This isn't April Fools Day.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 11, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

FFX Co. Emergency Operations reporting numerous emergencies and road closures. Water rescues currently "ongoing" in Herndon and Chantilly areas. Currently very heavy rain here in Herndon and been so for many hours now.

Not an "underperformer" here. More like an overperformer.

Posted by: Ivan | May 11, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

After a 12 hr. hiatus, back at the terminal briefly.

A very interesting day weatherwise. My area received only .50-.60" rainfall from a 2.00-3.00 inch potential. Madison County about 75 miles s.w. of D.C. averaged .75 at 6 p.m. with very little since then. No rain in my area since 4 p.m.

As I predicted this morning, the D.C. region has certainly been the demarcation zone between moderate and heavy rainfall with radar estimated QP totals ranging from .75 to more than 2.50 within a 20 mile distance in the Warrenton area.

Unfortunately, some in the D.C. area are receiving excessive rainfall again. Hopefully, no serious damage or injuries will result.

Posted by: Augusta Jim | May 11, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse


Gave you a bad example on the river link:

Try this one instead if you are interested

This is for Rock Creek, in DC

Posted by: MD Scot | May 11, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Argh! Don't say 'hurricane', weatherdudeVA! River gauges spiking....the GW Parkway flooding little boat is right there, and I'm so afraid she'll be ripped from her dock by super-high water and wind.

Posted by: ~sg | May 11, 2008 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Not to trivialize the flooding situation, but for all of us who like to complain about the D.C. hole -- that is, the metro area seeming to always miss out on the brunt of the storm -- the current radar loop in this post above is quite a site to see.

Posted by: Dan, Capital Weather Gang | May 11, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

Look at all the reds in Loudoun County! (me!)
Might be subject to clutter and a little more excited than the other maps, but wow!

Posted by: Model Monkey | May 11, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Have the plans for an ark laid debating whether I need to start building or not.

I am curious as to what the rivers and roads will look like tomorrow...I usually back-route to the office in Chantilly using Westfields, which then turns into Old Centreville...there is a creek there that was already pushing the banks on Friday, and has one of those ominous 5-foot measuring posts beside the side of the road. My guess is that will be off-limits in the morning.

Posted by: Kim in Manassas | May 11, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Dan's right.

Essentially, this storm is "bombing out" right over DC metro. A signature winter storm in May for all intents and purposes.

Posted by: Ivan | May 11, 2008 10:23 PM | Report abuse

I crossed the Wilson Bridge this evening... the rain was going sideways with strong gusts, i haven't seen rain and wind like this since Isabelle...

Posted by: Tim, Alexandria, VA | May 11, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Kim in Manassas -

I live just up Old Centreville Road a few miles from that area you're talking about. I'd check news reports in the morning before taking that route tomorrow, if I were you. I know that the flooding is especially bad in the Herndon/Chantilly areas tonight, so tomorrow, there will be problems.

Posted by: Ivan | May 11, 2008 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Bombing out? Tell it to my basement...

Posted by: SoMoCo | May 11, 2008 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Pretty amazing system so far... +RA for 4 hours and counting at IAD.

Posted by: Ian, Capital Weather Gang | May 11, 2008 10:39 PM | Report abuse

SoMoCo -

Sorry for your basement. Please don't interpret my post as joy over the storm. I'm sick of the rain too.

Just wanted to further Dan's comments by pointing out that this was a winter-like storm.

Hope you don't have too much damage on your hands.

Posted by: Ivan | May 11, 2008 10:43 PM | Report abuse

This system does not seem to be making ANY progress in getting on past us. Just seems to keep boiling back on its tracks. Gonna be a looong night.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | May 11, 2008 10:44 PM | Report abuse

I count myself as one of the lucky few who lives in a "hillish" area and manages to avoid basement flooding. It has to be horrible for anyone whose house is on low-lying ground right now.

With that being said, this is a storm that we'll be talking about for quite some time. Possibly one of the top 3-5 rainstorms we get this year.

Posted by: mcleaNed | May 11, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

We're getting serious wind in Annapolis. I am studying for a Greek final tomorrow-- and the lights keep blinking on and off. We live under lots of large trees and I have heard several good sized branches crack and fall. A little too much excitement for a girl trying to study!! It's getting a bit scary.

Posted by: science teacher | May 11, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Dulles reporting 3.22 inches already in the rain gauge.

Posted by: Ivan | May 11, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Rock Creek Park is currently churning out 1,296 CFC (cubic feet per second) of water. The record daily average for May 11? 243 CFCs.

Sounds like a broken record to me.

Posted by: mcleaNed | May 11, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Police are out in Huntington getting residents to move their vehicles off of the lowest-lying streets -- feels like a rerun of 2006 (not good). The other thing that feels like a rerun is tinkerbelle's observation that this system does not seem to be moving off. Different type of system from '06, but the same dreaded sense that you don't know when it will end.

Posted by: Huntington Mark | May 11, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

2.7" in Spotsy.

Posted by: VaTechBob. | May 11, 2008 11:37 PM | Report abuse

I have found a use for old law school outlines -- stemming the flood in my basement apartment. I thought Brookland would high ground.

Posted by: ep | May 11, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Folks-- I've started a new post. Feel free to move commenting thread there...

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | May 11, 2008 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Har. I just used an ancient Property Law tombstone to brace a flailing downspout, flailing b/c of 40-mph blasts. Took more than a casebook, though. Had to call in the big guns: 17-lb plastic tubs of kitty litter! A rare occasion when duct tape wouldn't do the job.

Posted by: tinkerbelle | May 12, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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